Do you have a sibling(s)? Do you have a twin? If so, have you ever been able to read your twin’s mind? This has been a topic of curiosity for several years now, especially the past decade. Personally, I have a fraternal twin that also attends Penn State University as a freshmen. Even though we are fraternal, I can consciously say that we have some form of twin telepathy. Besides having a unique bond beyond that of standard siblings, we seem to think we share a supernatural ability. Considering this…is telepathy a real thing?
Sometimes twins can feel a physical feeling of something that their twin is experiencing at that very moment. Sometimes twins can even perform the same activities such as calling someone at the same time or ordering the same food at a restaurant. Even more fascinating, twins can finish each other’s sentences. Personally, this happens all the time to my twin and me. When we go out to a restaurant with our parents or friends, we tend to choose the same foods. At the dinner table, we always say the same things and finish each other’s sentences. In addition, twins and myself often feel the same emotions as my twin (happiness, excitement, depression, pain, fear, etc).
So, is there scientific evidence to back up this twin telepathy hypothesis? According Teen Ink, twin telepathy is “when one twin can assess the thoughts or feelings of another twin without the other twin giving them any signs. It acts as a ‘sixth sense’ between the twins.”
To better comprehend what twin telepathy actually is, you have to understand the two different types of twins. Identical twins (also called monozygotic) because they are produced by a single egg that has been fertilized divides into two eggs that contain the same genetic material. This makes it likely for that set of identical twins to look the same and act in the same manner. Fraternal twins (also called dizygotic) because they are formed by two separate eggs. Fraternal twins are the same as regular siblings except they share the same birthday. Telepathy has been noted to occur more in identical twins, but it has been shown to occur in fraternal twins as well.
Twins are considered “biologically interchangeable” because they are able to feel what the other is feeling without verbally saying it. According to Teen Ink Magazine, 30 to 40 percent of identical twins are probable to experience telepathy. Compared to fraternal twins, identical twins are twice more likely to experience telepathy in their lifetime. This is because identical twins are much more closer genetically than fraternal twins and are even said to have almost identical brain frameworks. There has been no scientifically proven evidence that twins actually experience twin telepathy, but the most evidence scientists have presently are personal accounts. The one popular and common story of twin telepathy is from the twins known as the “Jim Twins”. This set of twins were not raised together, but ended up marrying women with the same exact names, and even named their children and pet dog the same. Is this just a coincidence? There are possibilities that this situation was purely due to chance, but that seems highly unlikely for all of these things to occur without one another even knowing each other existed. Researchers believe twin telepathy could have been a determining factor in this story because identical twins have the same brain patterns, explaining why they would each marry a woman with the same name and call their children by the same names. Researchers even said twins who are raised separately can prove to be more similar than twins who are raised together because “many times when twins are raised together they feel the need to make themselves unique and to stand apart from their twin, causing them to act or do something differently than their twin simply because their twin does it that way.”
Another story that researchers linked to twin telepathy was discovered through polygraphs and interviews. A study conducted by Robert Sommer, Humphrey Osmond, and Lucille Pancyr who interviewd pairs of twins to determine if they ever experienced twin telepathy. At the end of the study, 12 out of 34 people said they could “communicate telepathically”, which is a decent amount in the science field. In addition, a girl said to have broken her ankle in a bike accident. Her twin reported to have swelling on the identical ankle from which her sister broke, but did not do anything to cause the swelling.
So, is twin telepathy just a myth? Considering there is no scientific evidence, some people would say it is because there is not enough thorough evidence to support the theory. Even though the closest evidence we have to twin telepathy is brain waves showing similar thoughts from twins and to personal accounts, I think it is more of a correlation than a direct relationship right now. There needs to be further experiments conducted with several pairs of twins. Currently, researchers and scientists are working on how to actually prove twin telepathy exists.